We turn to the Scriptures now for our lesson. Luke chapter 10, verses 21 to 24 is the paragraph for us this morning. It is a remarkable paragraph. It is one of those paragraphs that could launch a thousand sermons. It is so rich and deep with truth. I've entitled this section, "Jesus' Joy,” “Jesus' Joy."
We are familiar, I think, with the fact that Jesus was a man of sorrows. Most of us who have been in the church have sung the old hymn, "Man of Sorrows, what a name, for the Son of God who came." We are familiar with the sorrow of Jesus. And I might add that as we have been moving through the gospel of Luke, we have sensed an increasing sorrow. This is to be expected. After all, it wasn't the hymn writer who coined the name "man of sorrows." It was none other than Isaiah the prophet, the inspired writer of that great messianic 53rd chapter in which he said the Messiah would be a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. And certainly it was so. It was John who recorded that at the grave of Lazarus, Jesus, seeing the power of death, wept. Luke records that when Jesus approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it. Both Matthew and Mark tell us that as Jesus approached the cross, He was filled with such trepidation and such sorrow that He said, "My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death," so sad it almost killed Him.
The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews looks at Jesus in anticipation of the cross, suffering there in the garden and sweating, as it were, great drops of blood under the sadness of that experience, and he says of Jesus, "In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death." His was a life of sadness.
And the sorrow increased and increased as the months went by and He moved toward the horrific sorrow of the garden and the absolutely immeasurable sorrow of the separation from the Father in His sin-bearing death on the cross when He cried out the saddest words that ever He uttered, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" His was a life of facing sin as a sinless one, of living and moving with sinners as the perfectly pure one. His was the life of apathy and indifference, as well as rejection and hostility. His was a life of facing sickness and death, rejection, hatred, finally execution. He had a cosmic kind of sorrow, a profound kind of sadness related not only to what He saw in the world but what He knew was the reality of an eternity without God that was the sentence of all those who rejected His gospel. He deserved only to be loved. He deserved only to be honored. He deserved only to be obeyed. He deserved only to be glorified. And yet He received just the opposite. And so He was, as Isaiah said, a man of profound, cosmic sorrow.
We are much less familiar, I think, with His joy. It is true that the Old Testament does indicate to us that God rejoices. In Isaiah 62:5 God rejoices over a future faithful Israel, looking at the time when Israel repents and embraces the Messiah and is restored to God and receives the kingdom. God has kind of a future joy over the culmination of redemptive history in the glorious kingdom of His Son. The prophet Zephaniah had a revelation of God's future joy over a restored and regenerated Israel in the millennial kingdom yet to come and that prophet wrote, "Shout for joy, oh daughter of Zion, shout in triumph, oh Israel, rejoice and exult with all your heart, oh daughter of Jerusalem, the Lord has taken away His judgments against you. He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst. You will fear disaster no more. In that day it will be said to Jerusalem, 'Do not be afraid, oh Zion, do not let your hands fall limp. The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy. He will be quiet in His love. He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.'"
God anticipates in these passages a future joy over the great millennial glory of Jesus Christ when He reigns of King of kings and Lord of lords over a redeemed Israel and a redeemed humanity on the earth. That's future joy. Hebrews says that Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. He too living as a man of sorrows had a future joy, the joy of knowing what His death would produce if He looked ahead to the culmination of redemption.
Our Lord Jesus Himself, as we shall see later in the 15th chapter of Luke, tells us that there is joy in heaven every time a sinner repents, every time a lost soul is found. Every time a prodigal son returns to the Father, heaven rejoices. And our Lord Jesus in His high priestly prayer in John 17 referred to "My joy," a joy that He possesses in His relationship with the Father and because of that relationship and a joy that He asked to be granted in full to those who belong to Him. So the Bible does talk about joy in heaven when sinners repent, joy in the future when God's redemptive purpose comes to its glorious culmination.
But only in this passage does it ever talk about joy and Jesus rejoicing during His life on earth. Future joy in the kingdom, joy in heaven, the joy that He had face to face with the Father in eternal glory which one day He will share with those who come to heaven. But only once does it ever say Jesus rejoiced during His earthly life. And only here in this verse 21 of Luke 10 at that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit. We are thus provided with that phrase, that sentence, He rejoiced greatly and in the Holy Spirit, a tremendous insight. And this is the only place we get it. There's something especially sacred about this text. That's why I say, it's a text that could launch a thousand sermons. This is unique treasure. This is a pearl of great price, an inestimable jewel dropped in the middle of this gospel that moves us behind the man of sorrows with escalating suffering and sadness to see His joy.
I'm glad we finally reached this passage. I cherish this passage. I have a special affection and love for this passage. I'm so glad to see it. Pardon me if I want to stay here for a long time and build booths and live in this passage. I feel this way because I understand the heart of David in Psalm 69 that the reproaches that fall on you fall on me. I feel the pain and I know you do of all the sadness of Jesus. In some small way, some frail, human way, but nonetheless a real way I feel the pain when Jesus is ignored. I feel the pain when Jesus is misrepresented, misjudged, and mistreated. I feel the pain when Jesus is hated. I feel the pain when Jesus is plotted against, when He is betrayed, when He is taken through a mockery of a trial and when He is mercilessly executed. I feel that pain. I feel that pain because I adore Him, because I love Him. Life for Him was incomprehensibly sad, and now getting sadder chapter by chapter by chapter until we come to the profound sorrow of the garden and the cosmic sorrow of the cross. I welcome this insight into Jesus' joy.
He completed a year-plus ministry in Galilee at this time, powerful ministry, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, providing forgiveness of sin for all who repent and believe, telling people all that God had prepared in that kingdom for those who embraced Him, offering eternal life, and affirming His message and His messiahship and His deity by signs and wonders and miracles that make it irrational to deny that He is in fact God the Messiah and the Savior of the world. The evidence leaves you with only one possible conclusion: that He is who He claimed to be. The twelve have gone through Galilee as well as our Lord, spreading the gospel of the kingdom, also manifesting His power in signs, wonders and miracles. The seventy...seventy more missionaries have done the same, not in Galilee but in other areas where Jesus was visiting since His ministry in Galilee was finished. They have returned, as verse 17 indicates, to report that the power of Jesus through them was amazing so that the kingdom of darkness was invaded and souls were set free, the power of the gospel.
But in reality, with all this miraculous ministry and there's still months to go with it, including the resurrection of dead people, with all that He has done to demonstrate who He is and demonstrate His message therefore as true, there is a mounting indifference, a mounting apathy, mounting rejection, mounting hostility that ultimately leads to the whole populous screaming for His execution. The Jewish leaders are already plotting His death. Rejection is like a snowball going down a hill; it's getting larger and larger, being aided and abetted by the hatred of the religious leadership. He was in the world. The world was made by Him. The world knew Him not. He came to His own people. His own received Him not. He was the light that was shining in the world but the darkness didn't comprehend it. The early days of amazement, the early days of wonder and fascination about His miracle power, the early days of astonishment at His authoritative teaching are moving away to apathy, indifference, and finally to rejection, opposition, and murder. And as the remaining months move, it gets sadder, sadder and sadder.
This then is a refreshing break in the sadness that necessarily follows the story of Jesus. And it says in verse 21, and it's almost shocking, at that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit. In the midst of all of this there is this exuberant joy on the part of Jesus. And the question that comes to mind immediately is why? Why? I mean, things were going badly from a human viewpoint, from a strategist viewpoint. The thing couldn't be going worse. He wasn't going to change the world, it was very obvious. He wasn't even going to change this nation. He couldn't even win over the leadership. He was, from a human viewpoint, an abysmal failure. He looks like one who has lost all hope for what He might have dreamed could happen. It was all going bad and would get a lot worse. And in the midst of it, He rejoiced greatly, which then poses the question: What motivated that joy? Why? How? For what reason could He rejoice?
Before we answer that question, let's look at verse 21 and here what Luke records before we hear what Jesus said because Jesus is going to answer the question of why He rejoiced. You're going to find out the source of Jesus' joy from His own words. But begin at the beginning, verse 21, "At that very time..." Well, that's very helpful to us. At that very time would be the time the seventy had just returned. Verse 17: "The seventy returned with joy." They had gone out two by two to preach the gospel of the kingdom with the power to heal and to cast out demons delegated to them by Jesus. It was His own power, not theirs. They had powerfully preached and attested to their message by the miracles so that people had responded to the gospel of the kingdom and had been delivered from the kingdom of darkness. The demons had had to release their prisoners. And verse 17 says they returned with joy, even the demons are subject to us in Your name. They came back filled with joy at the power of the gospel.
Well you know the Bible says, "Rejoice with those that rejoice, and weep with those that weep," right? This is a perfect opportunity to enter in to their joy. And so at that very time when they were coming back so filled with joy and Jesus directs their joy in verse 20 to the fact that the real joy is not that the spirits are subject to you, but that your names are recorded in heaven. And so Jesus at that moment takes the heavenly view and He sees beyond the joy of successful ministry to the joy of eternal glory. And as He catches again the reality of heaven, He rejoices greatly because the thought of heaven and the thought of their names being recorded there takes Him from where He is to the culmination, takes Him from the suffering in the present to the glory in the future and the thought of the fact that their names were recorded in heaven from before the foundation of the world and that therefore the plan is on schedule and they'll all arrive is the reason for His consummate joy. He's liberated from the sorrow of time by the joy of eternity, at that very time.
Also, it says He rejoiced greatly, and I want to comment on that. He rejoiced greatly. That's a weak translation, I think. Sometimes I wish that I had been in the translation committees, not a lot, but occasionally. This just doesn't do it. "He rejoiced greatly" is just a little too pedantic for me. Agalliasto should be translated, "He was thrilled with joy. He overflowed with joy. He was overjoyed." One scholastic commentator calls this eschatological jubilation. And what he means by that is the kind of jubilation when all that you hope for, all that you dream for is realized. It's not the joy of the process. It's the joy of the end. It's the joy of fulfillment. It's the joy of consummation when the longed for goal is reached. And He could only rejoice greatly when it struck His holy mind that all of these people were a part of an eternal plan and their names were all recorded in heaven and they were all headed there. And it was in the reality of that consummation, that eschatology, that last thing, that supreme jubilation exploded in His heart. This was not a temporal joy. This was not a temporary joy.
I told you that this was the only time it says Jesus rejoiced. Please, this is not the only time He rejoiced. He rejoiced all the time. As always a man of sorrows, so always a man of joy: Always sorrowing over the condition of sin and its impact, always rejoicing over the eschatology, the consummate end of everything. I think in a small way I understand that. I go through the world like you do. I go through the world, on the one hand, with a broken heart. People say to me, "You're not as funny as you used to be." Life's not as funny as it used to be. I've been around too long. It's not getting any funnier, either. I mean, you load up with the weight of reality, don't you? Lost souls, eternal judgment, the impact of sin, the disregard of the truth of God, the reproach that falls on Christ, the blasphemies against our God, the corruption of our culture and all cultures in the world due to the fact that the whole of humanity goes down the depraved slide, becoming worse and worse, that's enough to make any man sad, let alone somebody who lives for the glory and honor of God.
But, at the same time that there is an ongoing and somewhat increasing sadness, I possess an eschatological jubilation because when I look above the world at the redemptive plan of God from eternity to eternity and understand where it's all going, there's joy. This is the way Jesus lived. Only you have to magnify whatever it is that you identify with that into infinity because no man ever had a fuller understanding of the power and destruction of sin than He did. Therefore no man would ever know the level of sorrow that He knew. Nor did anyone ever have the understanding of the glory of eternal riches that He has. Therefore His sorrows were deeper than any, and His joys higher than any. And so when in the midst of all the sorrow and the increasing sorrow when you ask the question: How could He rejoice so profoundly? How could He have this kind of jubilation? He gives you three reasons. This is... This is deep insight. I'm so thankful for this passage. And I tell you, I can only give you one this morning and I can’t...and kind of cut that a little short. But you'll understand this.
The first thing that caused Jesus to rejoice... This is the only time in the New Testament you have a record that He actually did it out loud, but He had this joy all the time. Reason number one: the sovereign pleasure of the Father, the sovereign pleasure of the Father. Verse 21, "I praise Thee, oh Father," out of His joy came praise, and here's what He said, "Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight."
You know what gave Him joy? What was happening pleased the Father. It pleased the Father that He hid it from some and revealed it to others. Our Lord's favorite truth, joy-producing truth, was the sovereignty of God, the sovereignty of God. In spite of all the rejection, in spite of all the pain and suffering and sadness and sorrow, in spite of the tears wept at the grave of Lazarus and tears wept over the city of Jerusalem and agonizing grief over the condition of humanity and the horrors of hell, He rejoiced gratefully because what was going on reflected the Father's intention, the Father's purpose, the Father's good pleasure. "I praise Thee, oh Father," and then later He says, "Yes, Father." There's passion in that, real passion in His joyful praise as the “oh” and the “yes” imply.
And when Jesus called God "Father" — it was just a footnote we discussed before — He was calling Him “Father” in the sense that He shared His essence. John 5:18 says the Jews wanted to kill Him because He blasphemed by calling God His Father and thus making Himself equal with God. Well He was equal with God, He is God. But here He's praising His Father, "Oh Father," there's joy in the "Oh." There's joy in the "Yes, Father, yes, Father, it is well pleasing in Your sight, I affirm it, I praise You. This is the way You intended it."
Now He identifies His Father so nobody would mistake it as "Lord of heaven and earth." Now, folks, that is comprehensive. That leaves room for no other deity in heaven or on earth. That simple little phrase was completely Jewish, a traditional Jewish expression, the single, supreme and only God of the universe is the true and living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Creator God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other God. And He joyfully praises His Father, who is the sovereign of the universe. Lord means “sovereign,” who is in charge of everything in the heaven and the earth. That is to say He's in charge of all of it and He is doing whatever is well-pleasing in His sight. That word "well-pleasing," interesting word, eudokia, means whatever gives Him pleasure, whatever He purposes, whatever He intends, and whatever He desires. It's working exactly the way God desired it to work.
Somebody might say, "Well, you know, Jesus' mission failed," like the silly people who write books like The Passover Plot and others, how Jesus was a well-intentioned Messiah who couldn't pull it off and died a failure. His mission didn't fail. It was going exactly the way the Father planned it. "I praise Thee, oh Father, Lord of heaven and earth," and here's the point, "that You did hide these things from the wise and intelligent and did reveal them to babes." That was Your plan. "These things," mark that. What do you mean these things? That's key. What's the antecedent of these things? Well the antecedent is all of the elements of the revelation of Himself, all the things related to the kingdom, of God, the Messiah and salvation, all the truths of His deity, all the truths of His anointing, His messiahship, all the truths of salvation, all the truths of the gospel, all the attesting miracles of nature and physical healings and power over demons and power over death, all of that, all of the truth and power of the kingdom. Let's say it that way. All of the features of His life and ministry, both teaching truth and expressing divine power, all of that that was a part of His mission that was delegated to the twelve and then delegated to the seventy, all of that. God determined to whom it would be revealed and to whom it would be hidden. "Yes, Father, it was pleasing in Your sight to do it that way." God did what pleased Him, He always does, uninfluenced, unmoved by any. He does what He determines to do for His own pleasure. No matter what seemed to go wrong, no matter how great the rejection, how indifferent, or how hostile the people, no matter how terrible is the wasted privilege and opportunity of having the living Christ in your midst and turning against Him, no matter how horrific is the betrayal of a Judas, no matter how vast the unbelief compared to those who truly believe, Jesus finds joy in the reality that His Father who rules the entire universe and therefore is never overruled is doing exactly what He purposed and planned and desired to do.
And what was that? It was to hide these things from the wise and intelligent, to hide these things from the wise and intelligent. Now let me tell you what He's saying here. He was glad, listen, that God did not devise a means of salvation accessible only to the wise and intelligent. That's the point. So that only the brilliant, only the esoteric, only the gnostic, only the transcendent could understand it. Now that was what was so popular in the ancient world, wasn't it? The elevated knowledge, the esoteric knowledge, the secret knowledge, this is an explicit condemnation of that, of the elitists who thought spiritual truth was only for the superior minds and the superior souls who could rise above the hoi polloi. God hid it from the wise and intelligent. You can be as wise as worldly wise men get, you can have insights ad infinitum, ad nauseum into human behavior, into the ways of the world and science, you can be intelligent, you can have an IQ off the chart; and neither your human wisdom or your human intelligence will lead you to the gospel of salvation, to God. First Corinthians 1, "Man by wisdom knew not God." You don't get there that way.
Now this is especially applicable at this time to the religious elite in Israel, the really smart people who rose through the ranks to become the rabbis, the law scholars, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the scribes, all the religious elite who thought that they could come to know God through the function of their own wisdom and intellect. It does not say that God withholds truth from people who are intelligent so that we're a bunch of idiots sitting here. That isn't the point. You know that. It doesn't say that God withholds truth from people who are clever and insightful. What it does say is that by human intelligence and human ingenuity, you can't get there. You can't get there. You can't get to divine truth. And if you think you can, you're the biggest fool of all because the world by wisdom knew not God. Romans 1:22, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became (what?) fools," mōrainō, morons. The biggest moron in the world is the person who thinks by his own wisdom or by imbibing the wisdom of somebody else or his own intelligence he has come to know the great truth of the universe. He's the biggest fool of all because you can't get there that way. First of all, God is not accessible. "Eye has not seen, neither has ear heard what God has prepared for those who love Him." It's not discernable empirically. Can't get there.
It doesn't mean that intellectual power is not necessary to understand the gospel, it is. It doesn't mean that thinking clearly and wisely is not important, it is. It's just that those on their own can't get there. A man may be as wise as Solomon. That's not going to get him to God. He may be as intelligent as Einstein. That's not going to get him to God. Intelligence is neither a way nor a barrier, it's irrelevant. Human wisdom is not a way or a barrier, it's irrelevant.
I think I can give you an insight into that. Think of it this way. We look at the intelligent people in our society. And I guess if we were to... This is just the way it plays out in our culture. But the smartest people in our society are scientists, fair enough? I mean, that's sort of generally the way it goes. You know, if you're in high school and you, you know, you knock the lid off the top of the SAT score or you have a high IQ, they want to chase you into the science department. And you get in there and you start doing things that only people who are highly intelligent can do, managing sophisticated data and complexities that the average person can't deal with. And so you become a part of the intellectual elite of the world. And you have to have sufficient power to analyze these intricate complexities.
You want to know the truth? Atoms and molecules and all things material belong to the lowest level in the universe; not the highest, the lowest. That's right. I grant you they're complicated. I grant you that there are many of us who cannot penetrate their secrets. But all it takes is intellect. That's all it takes: a brain that's unusually gifted, time, and opportunity because physical things are such a low level. You get there by just brain power. That's all.
Let's move up a little higher. Let's go to the level of personhood. You all had professors in your university days who could function at the low level of molecules and atoms, but they couldn't connect with human beings, right? That's a higher level, folks. That's a higher level. And you want to know something? You can bring the professor, the most brilliant professor, you bring them all, line them up, get all the brightest scientists at all the biggest universities, bring them in a room and ask them to analyze me and I will tell you this, if I don't tell them what's in my mind, they will not be able to discover it. Can't, it's impossible. The only way they could ever understand me is if I disclose myself to them. That's a higher level.
Now go one step above that. Where are you? God. Never going to happen; you're never going to know God unless God chooses to disclose Himself to you. You can't find Him with your intellect anymore than those scientists in a room could find my soul by their scientific methodology. It can't be done. That's the lowest level. Religious people think they can rise up through the machinations of their religion and discover God. Not going to happen. Man by wisdom knew not God, can't get there, impossible.
It's not a contrast between being educated and uneducated. It's a contrast between being proud and being humble. That's the issue. Getting there now? It's coming to the place where you say I can't get there through my wisdom, I can't get there through my intellect, I submit, I humble myself before the gospel. And like a baby, I confess my inability. And Jesus found joy in the fact that the gospel was not limited to the worldly wise and the intelligent but it was available to anybody, whether they were smart or dumb, who humbled himself. And that's what He says in verse 21, "You did reveal them to babes," babes. God can reveal Himself. Go back to that professor you had. Nobody could understand the guy. I had some in my background. We had one at the Master's College. He didn't last long. Nobody understood anything he was saying and I couldn't figure out whether he was just too intelligent or he didn't know what he was saying so nobody else could figure it out either. But there are those people who are so profound, so intelligent that you just can't connect. But here is God whose intelligence is infinite, the eternal, inscrutable, limitless mind, the infinite mind of God and He has absolutely no trouble communicating with the simplest soul. So that in fact if you want to know Him, you have to become as a child. You have to be a babe, babe, nēpios, sucklings, nursing babies. We're talking about very little infants.
What does that mean? Humble, no achievement, no education, no human intelligence, wisdom, no exposure to the things of the world; you're just like a baby. You come and say, "I bring nothing." Jesus was pleased with this because in the end then all the glory belongs to God. Nobody gets there by human wisdom. Nobody gets there by human intelligence. Everybody gets there by recognizing that they have nothing in themselves that can reach God. And in a broken and contrite heart, they tremble at His Word and they submit to the simple, glorious gospel of Christ, like a little suckling baby desperately needing milk and not having the capability to provide it for himself. I mean, that's it. Jesus found His joy in that. I'm so thrilled, Father, that You hid this from those who if finding it through pride and human wisdom would therefore commend themselves, right? Would therefore boast in themselves, would therefore be proud of themselves and You determined that the only people who are ever going to know You are those who humble themselves like a little tiny infant. And then for all eternity, all the glory, all the praise will belong to You. And no man, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1, will boast. I rejoice, Father, that in the end You will be alone glorified. The humble, says the psalmist, shall hear and be glad. Proverbs 22:4, "By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life." Isaiah 57:15, "For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place." Well who dwells with you up there? "Him who is of a contrite and humble spirit. To give rest to the spirit of the humble, to give rest to the heart of the contrite." Who gets to God? The lowliest of the low, the babies, the helpless, those who can't on their own make it. And nobody can. The natural man, 1 Corinthians 2:14, understands not the things of God no matter how intelligent he may be, no matter how wise he may be. Why? First Corinthians 2:6, "We do speak wisdom among those who are mature, a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the leaders of this age." It's not available. The wisdom which none of the leaders of this age has understood, it's impossible. It doesn't come by intuition. It doesn't come by empiricism. It comes by revelation, right? You don't know me unless I disclose myself, and you certainly don't know God unless He discloses Himself, and in this book He has done that. And if you don't humble yourself before the gospel, you will never know God by your own powers.
So the Son rejoices that the Father has designed a salvation plan by which man must be humbled so that God will be glorified in everything. Isaiah 66:2, "I look to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit who trembles at My Word." So Jesus says, "Father, I'm just saying I'm thrilled as I look past the sadness and the sorrow of the sin-cursed world and I look to the future and I realize that heaven is going to be filled with the babes, filled with the infants, filled with those who were crushed and broken into humble, contrite, penitent believers who cast themselves on the mercy of Your gospel truth so that through all eternity You will be forever glorified.” This is the plan.
“Still to the lowly soul, He doth Himself impart and for His dwelling and His throne chooses the humble heart." Jesus' joy then is motivated by the knowledge that God has sovereignly designed a plan to redeem those who reject all human ability to know God apart from divine revelation. And He sees it played out. He looks at the seventy. They're not many noble, not many mighty. He looks at the twelve, twelve ordinary men. What did they have in common? Humble hearts before the gospel.
And so, the first reason for Jesus' joy is the sovereign pleasure of the Father. The second reason is the supreme power of the Son. That's for next time.
Father, we do thank You, this morning, for the revelation that this passage is to us. And we can only wish that it was like it used to be when people preached for three hours so you had an hour for every point. But help our dear folks to remember these things so that we can come back next week and, as it were, dive again into the depth of this profound text and be enriched by it. How wonderful it is, how unspeakably glorious it is to come to a deeper knowledge of our blessed Christ. Christ is all and in all. He is all that matters, He is all we need. To know Him is the solution to every problem, the victory in every battle, to know Christ, to know Christ. How rich we are as we week in, week out come to know Him better, and that is enough to solve every issue of life. To know Him is to know His mind. To know His mind is to understand time and eternity and Your purpose. And to live in the knowledge of that is the purest and deepest satisfaction. Thank You for the picture of Christ revealed in just this one verse. We share His joy in the midst of our own sorrow as we too wait for the day when all the humble souls shall gather, and we with them, to praise You forever. And these things we bring before You in Christ's name. Amen.